Friday 27 November 2009


Off to see one of my favourite live acts last Friday and, after the Deep Purple debacle, I decided this time I would not be thwarted, so I made sure I got a seat rather than a standing ticket. Up on the second balcony and knowing that this band played a long set, I made sure that I didn't hit the bar so would miss half the concert through being in the loo.

I am still smarting at missing "Everyday I write the book", my favourite Elvis Costello song, by having to empty myself at Buxton Opera House a few years back. This was due to the fact he started an hour late so we all went back to the pub and me having no self control.

The support act was a Finnish Blues woman and guitar hero. She was OK but not really that startling a player. Then time for the main event....the lights went down the taped music was joined by the band singing along and suddenly it all went black...

A vast evil smelling woman plonked herself down in front of me. I spent the next two hours peering round her, with my fingers under my nose. She texted, ate sweets, rearranged her blouse, flicked her hair, wiggled and stank. All the while grimly holding on to her coat. I know I may sound like a grumpy old man, but surely if you are going to be in the company of others, it would be a good idea to pay a little attention to personal hygiene. I wonder if there is a bylaw against offensive odours, just as there is for anti social behaviour, caused by noise or littering? Wonder if this would lead to ‘Nose Police’ with special, and very unfortunate dogs, having to check everyone out before they entered. Still dogs like sniffing all kinds of stuff so they may enjoy it!

(A picture of Southside Johnny performing on stage should have been inserted here, but I couldn’t work out how to download it from my new mobile phone!)

Who had I gone to see? Bruce Springsteen's mate ‘Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes’. Saw them last year and they were tremendous. On this occasion poor old Southside was a little below par. He hobbled to the microphone, sang an opening number, and hobbled around hopping up and down on his one good leg. Eventually someone in the crowd asked him what was the matter? He was suffering from that most rock n roll of complaints - Gout! It was obviously so painful that he had difficulty concentrating and forgot the lyrics on occasion and he had to swap places with the keyboard player at one point just so he could sit down. We all felt for him. He still managed to rack up nearly two hours on stage even though it must have been agony. Poor chap. Let’s hope he is fully restored by his next visit.

That time of the year has now arrived when the hats scarves and gloves are more in evidence, as the weather has been particularly poor of late. Although this is not a competition I hasten to point out, and in no way am I downplaying the terrible flooding in the Lake District. Saturday night on my way for my regular Chinese Takeaway there was a total downpour which resulted in me taking refuge in a pub (oh! that is an original excuse). As I walked in, the whole place went silent, and everyone stared. It was either my drowned rat status or sheer animal magnetism. Sadly I suspect the former. I think even the 50 something karaoke singer stumbled over the lyrics to his Rap song. It’s a bizarre boozer this one, with a fascinating mixture of songs performed, and people performing or enjoying them. Sixties one minute, NWA or similar the next. One night when I was in, a bloke sat down next to me pulled out a brass door knob and started sniffing it and talking to it. I didn't ask!

Walking across Regents Park in London earlier this week I spotted the first winter casualty:

I think I have probably mentioned this before in previous blogs, but TV appears to have run out of new ideas now that we only have one show to watch these days: "Strictly X Jungle Brother". You have doubtless been assaulted by it on a Saturday night. It was time we looked to other ways to be entertained. Satellite TV is leading the way with lots of US imports where they just use police camera footage or CCTV of criminals in car chases, people falling off things or hitting each other either outdoors or in gaols.

Some of these I think are supposed to impart a solemn message. So why not "GloveCheck" five minutes before the news on BBC1, whereby people could be reunited with lost items of clothing that end up on the railings of public parks or outside houses? There could be a follow up show hosted probably by Dermot or Davina where tearful people get their mittens back. This would also have the added benefit of rehabilitating the newsreaders who’ve lost all credibility as far as I am concerned, due to them tripping the light fantastic on BBC Children in Need, albeit for a worthwhile cause. I can't watch Fiona Bruce or Huw Edwards now without thinking at which point will they start tapping across the studio floor? We were having this conversation in the office the other day and someone said sagely: "I blame Angela Rippon". Without the Morecombe and Wise show none of this would have happened.

It is the time for phone upgrade. It used to be every year, but now it seems to be every 18 months, which means the phone that quite happily would last 12 months is beginning to show signs of age and battery failure. With this in mind and having put it off for a further 3 months, I wandered down to 'AcmeFone' to sign up for a new one. Technology has moved on and so I decided to go for a touch screen one this time. Normally when I get a new phone it takes a few days before I figure out how it works with the aid of the impressive instruction booklet that comes with it.

Not any more. Two sides of an A4 sheet is all I got and frankly the thing is a nightmare. It can't transfer all the phone directory and has lost some numbers seemingly jumbled others. It freezes on occasion and sometimes switches itself off. Also it is spectacularly slow when you input instructions. I hate it hate it hate it! (Channelling Violet Elizabeth Bott there sorry)

Janice Long told me about a friend of hers who loathed her new mobile so much that she filmed herself nailing it to a tree and posted the result on YouTube. Have I reached the point in my life when I should admit defeat and go back to simple mechanical and non-electronic things like a sit-up-and-beg bicycle and a diary?

You made many suggestions on the programme. Simon the studio producer this week had also had a phone upgrade and was having problems with the model he chose. One of you suggested we just swapped handsets. I consider him a friend as well as a colleague so would not wish this pile of junk on anyone.

As it was less than a week old, you suggested I return it to the shop. This I tried. I explained that it was rubbish and I had lost faith in it and wanted another phone. "Certainly sir", came the swift reply. "This is going well", I thought. Normally you have to go purple in the face before anyone in a shop takes the slightest bit of notice of your predicament. Then came the body blow. "We can only replace it with an identical handset.” I sat in the shop and, using my old handset, called ‘Customer Service’. They let me hang on and put me through to three different people who all said exactly the same thing.

I did explain that as an ‘Early Adopter, I bought my first mobile phone 20 years ago and have remained faithful to their network the whole time, they should actually cut me a little slack and in view of my loyalty bend the rules.......They didn't. They refused to tell me the name, or telephone number, of the Press Office. The Store manager supplied the number and I may well ring them. To politely explain that frankly they don't deserve to have any customers at all and, come the revolution, they will be first up against the wall to be targeted by the ‘Best Time of the Day show’s’ famed ‘Bazooka Full of Offal!

Before you even think of it I didn't.

Didn't what?

Didn't utter those appalling words beloved of Z-list celebrities: "Don't you know who I am?" If you are on at 3am, you know what the answer is likely to be! It may be ten years ago but I am still smarting from a run in with a pub landlady who locked my car in her car park when I used to live on the canal boat the ‘Blue Pig’. I had to get a cab and very nearly missed the start of the show. In my defence there were no signs to warn customers. The local paper got hold of the story and ran it with the headline: ‘Early Moaning DJ’.

A lesson learned there I think.

Lovely Lynn Parsons is sitting in for the next two weeks, so I am going to go home and cool my heels, watch lots of rubbish TV and make great plans for world domination. I may even post a line or two before I return on Monday 14th December. Then we will be getting ready for Xmas as only we know how with regular visits from Noel the Christmas Badger. We will be checking on the state of the office party season in ‘Antlerwatch’ and new for 2009 there’ll be a game you can play called ‘Panto Lotto’. Plus, as I was reminded by you on Thursday morning, it may be time to think about putting a scarf round the neck of a local statue. We don't want them to catch their death.

Friday 20 November 2009


After the excitement of Blackpool it was back to the smoke and the everyday, although I am lucky in many ways as I have outlined here before. Despite the hours it is a great job to have. I get to fool around with you. (Metaphorically speaking ; we are not talking naked wrestling in front of the fireplace a la "Women in Love") as well as play and experience one of my passions - namely music - recorded and live.

So as I sit here in my pants typing this I can look back on seven days of terrific tunes.

Hmm, just checking that sentence I think I need to amend it in case the carefully contrived and honed image of a sophisticated national broadcaster at the top of his game is somehow tarnished. Try again.

As I lie here on my Faberge daybed, a Pekingese at my feet in my silk cosijamas dictating to one of my team of spectacularly beautiful nude secretaries whilst being fanned by eunuchs.

If you think this is extravagant - you should see how Chris Evans does his blog. His is written in Panda blood by specially trained Lipizzaner horses.

Still, back to the matter in hand. Tuesday evening was a bit of a rush to get everything in as I had been invited to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band "Nine Below Zero". I remember interviewing them back in 1982 and had never ever had the chance to see them. Strangely unlike me they didn't look quite as I remembered them back then but they were great and I have already played a track from their new album as part of "Lester's Library". It was good to see that they sported a range of goatees, soul patches and Paul Carrack hats. This combination enables middle aged men to look cool and tough at the same time.

I had taken Pina the Filipina who had been suffering from a cold all week so needed a bit of a pick me up. So before we hit the basement bar where they were playing we went for fish and chips. Not sure if this is a far eastern cure all but it seemed to do the trick and she soon perked up. At the venue the record company had laid and chips! Well, not wishing to appear churlish I waded in.

The band wrapped up about 8pm so it was a 20 minute tube ride out to Hammersmith to see the London debut of Country superstar Toby Keith. He is massive in the U.S and I had first picked up on him when I drove cross-country for American Adventure 1 back in 2007.

He is perhaps best known over here for a fall out with the Dixie Chicks over their apology for having George Bush as president . He also had massive popular support for his post 9/11 song ‘Courtesy of the Red White and Blue (The Angry American)’, which the Dixie chicks described as ‘making country music sound ignorant’.

However he does have a sense of humour and one of my favourites is a song about reaching middle age: "I ain't as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was".

As with the visit from Martina McBride back in August there was a "meet and greet" beforehand. We were ushered into a side room, about 20 of us, and told what to do by a colossal roadie: "Do not ask him to sign autographs. You will each receive a signed picture as you leave. You will have your picture taken with him and they will be posted on his website within a few minutes". Some of the women in the queue and a couple of the men were giddy with excitement and I thought they were going to faint.

I know this is "added value" for the fans but the way it is done is so slick and soulless it is somehow slightly counterproductive.

Tension mounted in the small room when suddenly the door opened and the room suddenly got considerably smaller as all 6ft 4 of him stomped in, the trademark stetson in situ with a bandanna underneath. We duly lined up for small talk and a photo. I babbled my usual "country is becoming more popular in the UK these days" chat which given his size was more tiny than small talk. It’s all a question of scale. He put his arm round me and squeezed affectionately.

I looked like his lunch.
As Pina and me had managed to bag the last two tickets in the house she was beyond excitement "OMG OMG OMG I am on the front row. I'm on the front row." She was....on the balcony! I took my seat in row G of the stalls and Tobe (he put his arm round me - we are friends) hit the stage. He is a self confessed redneck and he was going to rock up a storm. The SRO audience went wild. They knew all the words. They were old they were young they were middle aged. They loved him and he loved them (and me) right back.

As I left to try and find the damp remains of Pina who had always dismissed this sort of music as "Country Muppets" preferring dance and rap but was now converted someone stopped me to say hello. They left a comment on last week’s blog. Sorry if I appeared distracted, I was trying to find my friend and had to get off back home to try and grab a couple of hours’ sleep before the show. This is the only way I can function. If I stay up all night then go to do the show I will fall asleep halfway through. Also I can't "hit the bar" as any booze after about 8pm is going to have an impact on the "shoe". Who wants to hear someone babbling nonsense and slurring first thing in the morning? I can do that sober!

Friday night and Nell Bryden was playing a small club in London and as I had never managed to catch her act before it seemed a good time to make that aquaintance.

Libido boy was keen to catch her show too. He had been a film extra for the previous three days: A remake of "Brighton Rock" with Helen Mirren and John Hurt. His back view is going to feature heavily in an hotel scene he assures me. The downside he explained was his hair had to be cut in period style. He said for me to look out for a "60's bank manager". He looked fine to me. He could have benefited from one of the Nine Below Zero hats I mentioned earlier but he still looked pretty cool.

Nell was great and had the audience eating out of the palm of her hand. She not only looks and sounds fabulous she is very funny with it. Singer Jon Allen was in the audience as well - I think they are talking about working together which should be interesting. Nell had to finish at about 10.15 after a couple of encores due to the live music curfew, yet the club stayed open several more hours. Upshot of this was a lot of drinking and talking with various friends who were down. Jon Allen (or someone who looked remarkably like him) would reappear every so often, give me a big hug and disappear again.

Eventually it is was just Libido boy and me and the place was closing. So it was off to Soho and Chinatown for something to eat. 3am came and onto our second pot of tea and Libido boy trailed off in mid sentence as with an audible clang his eyes slammed shut and he fell asleep.

Outside it was raining and despite the hour there were still hundred of people milling about. Somehow we managed to grab a cab back to the flat and bed.

Saturday night it was time to catch up on some rock dinosaurs I had missed when I was 14. Deep Purple were in town. So I headed back to Hammersmith once more. As I have outlined in these blogs before short people and crowds don't get on. In this case my standing room ticket was slightly worse than useless due to the press of big leather clad blokes I was unable to even force my way into the auditorium. The doors to the stalls are narrow and aisles at the back of the theatre narrow to two pillars. I was unable to force myself past the pillars so was stuck at the back by the doors being jostled by fat blokes.

After two numbers from the support act my enthusiasm dissipated and I began to think "life is just too short for this". So I went to the pub instead!

Thursday 12 November 2009


It is that time of the year again and the trusty Broadcastketeers set out on another ultimately futile attempt to meet and engage with Radio and TV types around the country.

If you are new to the concept; "Nerd Nights" involve travelling to parts of the UK and eating and drinking too much with like minded people in our industry.

What actually happens is overtures are made often through an intermediary. There is a clamour as lots of people express interest and pledge support. A restaurant and hotels are booked and then on the day no one turns up but the original seven.

You may notice from the following photograph there are six. From left to right you have :

Simon Hirst, a top mate and genius DJ from Galaxy in Yorkshire.

John Foster, Breakfast host on BBC Tees in Middlesbrough. He was the subject of the wedding blog a few weeks back. Fresh from his honeymoon with the luscious Anna. He looked slightly worn and she was nowhere to be seen. She had invented relatives to visit we think. Or more probably was at home playing with that saucy wheelbarrow I gave them.

Matthew Rudd, top radio talent heard on many stations throughout the north.

Martin Emery - Breakfast jock for Tower FM (how many times do I have to tell you Alex it is based in Bolton NOT Blackpool)

My Godson Michael Hurley of whom I am immensely proud as he left University last summer and already has a thriving business providing sound services to theatre as well as making his way in broadcasting.

Last but certainly by no means least the legendary Charles Nove. Broadcaster. Deputy "Voice of the Balls" and host of the original (and still the best) "Come Dancing" . He came dressed appropriately as he had spent 12 years here out of season with "Prancing" as they used to call it apparently. The one glaring omission was me. As you have already correctly guessed I was the one taking the picture.

The excuses for non arrival are manifold and - call me cynical - frankly suspect.
From now on, we play hardball. A death certificate is not a sufficient excuse. We want to see a corpse!

I know how Captain Cook and Dr Livingstone must have felt. Or maybe a trader or two trying the Silk Route. So far none of the Magnerdficent Seven have disappeared only for someone to find their head on a pole outside "108 The Plate. Tasty Tunes 24/7 Sydenham’s favourite local".

Still it could have been worse, one of our emissaries may have vanished altogether and then decades after whilst watching 75 year old Fiona Bruce (no ageism here) unwrapping mummified remains "its been in our family years....we would never part with it....HOW MUCH DID YOU SAY IT WAS WORTH???" On the Antiques Roadshow.

One of us in the "Alan Freeman" wing of the DJ's retirement community staring rheumily at the flickering screen will remark: "You know that looks a bit like the Ruddster. Didn't he vanish trying to make contact with that community station in Arbroath back on 2010?"

We arranged to meet in Blackpool. I have never been. So was wanting to experience this jewel of the English North West.

We had decided to stay at the Travelodge by the North Pier which boasted Freddie Starr. Wonder if he is still doing that hilarious Hitler in wellingtons routine?

The first obstacle was car parking. I had spent three hours on the motorway in pouring rain and traffic jams so frankly was looking forward to some beer.

The car park like many town and city centre parks demanded a massive amount of cash for a 24 hour stay. 24 hours, horology fans, is actually any time over 12 hours. For this the machine demanded £13. A tidy sum. Also it demanded it in an untidy metal form: £1 coins, 50p or 20p.

Not sure about you but I don't usually carry that amount in coinage in case my trousers fall down with the weight. However for that money the facilities were pretty good. It boasted a lift, CCTV and a "Welcome office". (closed. Not sure if it meant we were unwelcome out of office hours.) Best of all and a note here to other municipalities. It didn't reek of piss! How do they do that? Well done Blackpool.

The Travelodge boasted in place of a mat a welcome puddle outside its front door which I gingerly stepped around and went to the reception which was on the first floor.

The other guys had already hit the bar and were discussing some rather disturbing noises emanating from one of their adjacent rooms. It apparently sounded like a woman gasping and a buzzing sound! My guess was it was probably one of Victor Kayams associates trying out a new razor. "I liked it so much I bought the company".

Although other more experienced (married) members of the group thought it may have been some "Dame Barbara Cartland" activity. To whit: "She gave a little cry...but not of fear".

A quick drink in the pub opposite (plastic glasses, I do so hate that) and then it was to the restaurant recommended by someone who didn't show. It was excellent and with the food followed the endless stories which make these events such fun. I had the steak with a "Jenga" of chips.

There is a huge amount of satisfaction to be gained when as described by Matthew "A grizzled veteran" such as myself. (Is it just me or does that term conjure up a picture of Walter Brennan to you?) can tell a tale and people laugh so hard that food comes down their nose.

It went so well that the waiting staff moved closer and closer and didn't want us to leave. However in the end we bade them goodnight and headed for a pub that had been recommended.

"Just next to the knocking shop", it was a curious place with no draught beer and had been done out inside to look like a village. In fact it was so shabby it more accurately resembled a plague village. As you would imagine if everyone is dead, not a lot gets painted.

It shut horribly early at about 1am so it was back to the hotel via a deafening club with sticky floors and the bar.

This is where I wonder if it is just me or them?

As we sat chatting one by one my compadres decided they had enough and it was bed time. "I was up at 4.30am. I was up at 6.00am" What is the matter with these people? I was up at 01.30 so had been up apart from a 2hr snooze for about 24 hours.

I defer to no one in my admiration for the British armed forces. However if my mates had been required to defend the nation we would be in a different place now I can assure you.

"I have been assured by the German Chancellor Herr Hitler that he won't invade after midnight on a Friday into Saturday as he knows we will be too tired after a hard week playing gramophone records on the wireless" Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, 1939.

I was first up at 8.30 and sprang out of bed ready for the full English. I never understand why I do that full English thing as an hour or so later it feels like I have eaten a boulder.

Michael and I went for a walk to the pier and revelled in the attractions and the "hook a duck" stalls. The prizes are always fabulous. "Dahling as a token of my wuv for you I have got you a four foot stuffed dragon". Blackpool boasts many fortune tellers and palmists. They all seem to be part of the same family and there is a theme that runs through all of them :

Photos of the Clairvoyant with "celebs"- and they had to be very old pictures. One person boasted a spectacular collection of stars of yesteryear which must be very disturbing for Sir Cliff Richard as he was the only one featured who was actually still alive.

Michael also pointed out the illuminations. This year they appear to be sponsored by a camera company with for some odd reason a picture of Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen above a road junction.

"If you speed this is what can happen. Your wrists grow frills and your face sets in a permanent oily grin. Slow down or stay smug! "

Mike had experienced some confusion when he arrived the previous evening as the fake cameras kept flashing and there were so many brightly lit bulbs that the poor bloke wasn't sure where the illuminations ended and the traffic lights began.

He also got increasingly paranoid as he drove up the seafront well within the speed limit, yet seemed to be being flashed every couple of yards.

Perhaps Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen was there as a road sign. Which would make things simpler perhaps.

"Turn left at Linda Barker, carry on until you see..........NO YOU IDIOT, I SAID TURN RIGHT AT RUSSELL GRANT NOT RUSSELL BRAND!!"

By the time Michael had headed off, Charles and Hirsty had finished breakfast and so we had another saunter along the front and visited a novelty rock shop where we all bought a few items.

It was closing for the winter and I asked the woman who ran it if the products had a sell by date. The answer apparently is no.

When I related this on the show this week you told me that the way to tell if it was out of date was by looking at the little picture label. If it showed Ted Ray or the Crazy Gang, it was probably past its best.

Blackpool was tawdry, wet, windblown and fab. I am already thinking of excuses to return.

Thursday 5 November 2009


I have been shamelessly using you. I am sorry but you have made a rod for your own back. This is the second time and expect it to happen again. If you are feeling slightly dirty and used take a small crumb of comfort from this: If you weren't so good at it you would not be exploited in this way. However I give my word that I will respect you in the morning.

After the success of your suggestion of a wheelbarrow for Anna and John's wedding a few weeks back, the prospect of my Dad's 83rd birthday came up for discussion on the show and with it what do you give a man who has for the last few years been decluttering his house. "Ornaments? Pah- more to dust". We were beginning to wonder if eventually he would be sitting on an orange box in the lounge eating off a wooden platter with a spoon made from horn.

To begin with you suggested the typical things that you would associate with a person of mature years. A stairlift. A new hip. Teeth. Slippers. However bearing in mind this man walks at least ten miles at the weekends with usually a country walk of a similar duration during the week, luckily you were a bit premature with those gifts.

I remember when I was 40 I received a lot of those "from now on never pass a toilet, never waste an erection and never trust a fart" type cards. When I hit 50 the onslaught redoubled. "From now on it’s impotence and early onset Alzheimers" which frankly don't tend to lift the mood. Although in truth none of the milestone birthdays have bothered me unduly as like my Father I don't feel anything remotely like my age.

So it seemed at first glance according to you the obvious gift for his 83rd was a casket.

As we were meeting in a restaurant in Birmingham City centre on a busy lunchtime and it was upstairs, it seemed it would be a bit of a stretch to get the box off the train and across the street into the building. It would also probably upset some of the other elderly diners.

We chose the place as it specialised in good old fashioned solidly British food. So it was steak and kidney or chicken and mushroom pie with 3 veg and treacle tart and custard for afters. Then frothy coffee. Just that coffee. Not a mocha not a latte not a cappuccino. Frothy coffee served by a waitress, not a "Barrista".

Then after further gift suggestions in a similar vein we hit paydirt when I mentioned that as the clocks had gone back he struggles with resetting the clock in his car because often the press of a wrong button and the readout reverts to Turkish, making it a little hard to get it back to GMT.

You suggested a Turkish/English dictionary. This seemed a genius idea until it was trumped due to its extreme silliness by a mask and snorkel.

Whilst he reckoned he has not been swimming since about 1985, my Father thanks you.

A correction has to be made here as I have in the past referred to one of my friends Jacqui who is half Fillipino as "Pino" in previous blogs when we have been out. Eugene who regularly listens to the show and divides his time between the South seas and New Zealand pointed out with the world weary air of someone who knows that she should be "Pina" as that a Fillipino is a bloke and a Fillipina is a girl.

Anyways Pina and I linked up to go to see hair metal gods Bon Jovi in a special Radio 2 gig at the Radio Theatre in Broadcasting house in London. Earlier in the day I had been out with Liz Kershaw for lunch and a combination of her having a dental appointment and the train being late meant that we didn't start to try out her newly improved teeth until nearly 2pm. Like a fool I had pasta which spawned a "dangerfood" thread later in the week as for some reason I am unable to eat many types of food without seemingly bathing in it. My shirt had telltale spots of sauce on by the time I had finished. Liz on the other hand - and it may be a women thing - was pristine. I once saw Delia do an entire cookery programme in a white pullover and she never got a mark on her. I think she must be a witch.

The upshot of the late start for lunch meant that by the time Pina arrived for the gig. "Are we going to eat? Eating is a hobby of mine" I had not really digested much of the lunch. So we crossed southern Europe from Italy to Spain for some tapas. Not substantial but frankly enough and rich enough to ensure the roar of the crowd at the gig was matched by the internal roaring. Scientists....cold fusion is possible - check out my lower intestine.

The Radio Theatre is a small intimate venue if you have ever visited or watched any of the concerts via the red button or on the Radio 2 website. So it was fascinating to see a group of stadium rockers life size. The audience featured a large percentage of women and it would appear at 47 Jon Bon Jovi has lost none of his appeal judging by the screams. I did wonder how successful the band would have been if he had been ugly.

They started strongly and did an acoustic version of "You Give Love a Bad Name" and there was as you would expect with a showcase like this a fair number of songs from the new album ‘The Circle’, which I didn't really recognise. However one thing was obvious- they were having a good time so played way over time and rewarded us with three encores.

Out into the night air and we realised that the Christmas lights had been switched on in Regent and Oxford Street and the new Japanese style crossing had been unveiled to help ease pedestrian congestion at Oxford Circus.

It was a chilly evening but I was sweating. I went home and didn't have any more to eat. Had I tried to bridge the gap between Italy and Spain with something from the French culinary lexicon, I fear I may have spontaneously combusted.